Risk and protective factors for cognitive health across the adult age span: Impacts of physical and mental health and illness on cognitive outcomes

The virus causing COVID-19 can invade the brain, raising concern over long-term impacts on thinking abilities. We aim to identify long-term impacts on these cognitive abilities in those who have had COVID-19, and pinpoint factors that predict long-term outcomes. Adults positive for COVID-19 and those with no evidence of infection, are completing a series of cognitive and psychological tests in a current study. The proposed project will follow these individuals over time, with one and three-year follow-ups to examine changes in cognition across time. We will examine group differences in cognition, mental health, and other factors at each time point, determine if one or more cognitive profiles (clusters) characterize COVID-19 positive individuals, examine changes in these profiles across time, and test a screening measure to detect these cognitive difficulties. Findings will inform clinicians (e.g. neurologists, rehabilitation specialists) on trajectory of recovery of function and inform healthcare service provision in BC. Results will help ensure long-term impacts of infection are appropriately addressed, so those affected can efficiently resume complex activities requiring cognitive effort (e.g. employment, academic pursuits).